Boris claims Tories are party for the working poor

BORIS blue and red“Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, will say on Friday that the Conservatives are the party of the “working poor” in a keynote speech which will highlight his leadership credentials. In one of his biggest speeches Mr Johnson will say that the Tories must address inequality by improving housing, transport and education. He is expected to highlight his role in persuading David Cameron and George Osborne to adopt a national living wage in the Budget. Mr Johnson has spent years campaigning for a living wage in London, a policy which Mr Osborne has now taken up on a nationwide basis.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Wages are set to rise faster than predicted, claims Bank – Daily Mail
  • National Trust pays for repairs to Osborne’s country seat – Daily Mail


  • It’s time for a London Mayor who wants the job: Stephen Greenhalgh – Greg Hands MP, City AM

>Yesterday: Syed Kamall MEP in Comment: The ECR is advancing the cause of enterprise, free trade, and open markets

Ministers mull closing the Channel Tunnel

“Ministers are to consider the ‘nuclear option’ of closing the Channel Tunnel at night if the Calais migrant crisis deepens, it has been reported. Details of the proposal emerged following the arrest of a Sudanese migrant who evaded French security and ran almost the entire length of the 31-mile tunnel before being caught in Kent. Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, dodged trains travelling at speeds of 100mph before his perilous attempt was thwarted by police less than a mile from Folkestone on Tuesday.” – Daily Mail

  • Flagship crackdown on landlords caught just one per month – Daily Mail
  • Songs of Praise being filmed in Calais camp – Daily Mail

Crosby claims Farage is better suited to hosting a talk show than leading a party

lynton-crosby“Nigel Farage has more chance of succeeding as a radio talk show than getting elected as an MP, Lynton Crosby, the Conservatives’ election strategist has said. Mr Crosby, who is credited with masterminding the Tories’ surprise outright election victory, said he did not think that the UK Independence Party had “a long-term future”. Ukip would continue as a “voice of discontent”, he said, but “they are very reliant on the performance of their leader Nigel Farage and even he couldn’t win a seat, the sixth or seventh time he’s tried to win a Westminster seat”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Mercenary’ voters decided election, explains Crosby’s pollster – The Guardian

Tory donor helped Kids Company get £3 million assistance

“A wealthy Conservative party donor is said to have helped Kids Company win a £3million grant. James Lupton, the multimillionaire Tory party co-treasurer who donated more than £1m to the party last year, is thought to have held a meeting on behalf of the charity with ministers. After the meeting, Cabinet Office ministers Oliver Letwin and Matthew Hancock overruled many of their most senior civil servants to award the troubled charity the large ‘restructuring’ grant. Despite the large donation, the charity announced its closure on Wednesday saying it was ‘short of funds’ after ‘financial mismanagement’.” – Daily Mail

  • Cabinet Office convenes crisis meeting as charity closes – The Guardian
  • Evidence emerges of a wasteful empire – Daily Telegraph
  • Civil servants were embedded into Kids Company – Financial Times
  • Ousted boss claims charity closed to cover up Establishment paedophiles – The Sun (£)
  • Yentob defends interference in charity coverage by BBC – Daily Telegraph

Comment and Editorial:

Phil Collins: These amateurish charities aren’t fit for purpose

Charity“The charity sector in Britain is far too fragmented: tens of thousands of charities, competing for funding, overlapping on work, hardly talking to one another. Rough sleeping in the late-1990s fell by close to 90 per cent but the fall in the number of charities working on it was nothing like as steep. A market response would be consolidation but there is no mechanism in the charity sector for mergers and acquisitions. The returns of a larger scale would be great.” – The Times (£)

Labour leadership 1) Cooper turns fire on Tories for election ‘lies’

“David Cameron won the general election on the basis of a series of lies, Yvette Cooper said on Thursday, as she highlighted a series of broken promises by the Conservatives. In a sharpening of her rhetoric against the Tories, the Labour leadership contender accused Cameron of ripping up nine pre-election promises. She said he had changed tack on areas ranging from child tax credits to housing and rail electrification. Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: “We may have our own leadership election going on, but Labour can’t allow David Cameron to get away with this and carry on like nothing has happened – he is taking the British public for fools. We have to confront him directly on every lie and broken promise – that’s exactly what I plan to do in parliament and across the country.”” – The Guardian

>Today: Nick Hoile in Comment: Conservatives can – and must – win on the NHS

Labour leadership 2) Corbyn refuses to condemn IRA terror campaign

Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn sidestepped five times the chance to condemn the IRA for its bombing spree. The Labour leadership frontrunner was repeatedly asked by BBC Radio Ulster if he wanted to criticise the IRA’s atrocities during the Troubles. Mr Corbyn caused outrage when he invited members of Sinn Fein, including Gerry Adams, into the Commons in 1984, a fortnight after the IRA’s Brighton bombing which targeted the Conservative Cabinet… When the interviewer asked Mr Corbyn if he was refusing to condemn the IRA’s actions, Mr Corbyn said he could not hear the question because he was on a train. Asked the question a fifth time, he said: ‘I feel we will have to do this later you know’, before the line went dead.” – Daily Mail


  • Candidate backs nationalisation of “big six” energy groups – Financial Times
  • Corbyn calls for nuclear disarmament at CND event – The Independent



  • Corbyn for Prime Minister: why not? – Brian Eno, The Guardian
  • Wake up unions, there will be no Prime Minister Corbyn – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Labour leadership 3) Evidence mounts of far left infiltration

“Dozens of senior members of hard-left political parties have been given the right to vote in the Labour leadership ballot, in the first evidence of widespread infiltration of the contest. Eleven people who stood as candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) in the general ­election have signed up without being caught by the Labour party’s vetting procedure… The names of a further 18 former and current members of the national council of Left Unity, a hard-left party founded by Ken Loach, have also been passed to The Times. Left Unity includes the Communist Party of Great Britain and the International Socialist Network among its unofficial backers.” – The Times (£)

  • Party kicks 100 Green candidates out of leadership vote – Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 4) Burnham pledges an end to school choice

Andy Burnham“The free school network was put on notice by Andy Burnham yesterday as he promised to give local authorities the power to decide which pupils attend. In a move designed to reassure Labour traditionalists, Mr Burnham proposed a change in admissions that he admits will eventually turn free schools back into comprehensives, since it removes a key element of their independence. “What one school does on admissions affects all schools and pupils in a local community. It is wrong that there is no accountability for free schools and academies to that community,” his campaign team said. “This is not about Westminster imposing an approach, it is about giving local communities the power to decide on vital issues like admissions policies for local schools,” they added.” – The Times (£)

  • Manifesto would scrap academies and free schools – The Guardian
  • Former favourite claims he’ll scrap tuition fees – The Independent
  • Manifesto merely a reheat of Red Ed – The Sun (£)
  • Burnham claims to be ‘public choice’ for leader – Daily Mail
  • Stealth rail nationalisation could see private companies refuse to bid – The Times (£)

Comment and Editorial:

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Burnham raids UKIP’s ‘drivel’ manifesto for policy ideas

Dan Hodges: Corbynites and Blairites are both ruining Labour

“One of things the leadership election has shown us is that two fringe factions have now formed within Labour’s ranks that are effectively mirror images of each other. The Corbynite ultra-Left, and the ultra-Blairite Right have become two sides of the same coin. Both are driven by ideology. Neither really cares about electoral success or failure. Indeed, both sides actually prefer failure in order to keep their particular ideological flame burning as brightly as it can. They are not activists in the traditional sense of the word, but cultists. Blind to any argument or evidence that doesn’t fit within the field of their political tunnel vision.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

And finally… Cable enters national dance championships

CABLE Marr purple shirt“Footloose Lib Dem Vince Cable is to step back into the spotlight by entering the National Dance Championships. The keen ballroom fan, 72, has been brushing up on his moves since losing his parliamentary seat at the General Election. Now former Business Secretary Mr Cable — who has reached “international supreme” level — hopes to wow judges at the contest in November… He scored 36 out of 40 when he appeared on a Strictly Christmas special in 2010, dancing the foxtrot with Erin Boag. He had been rumoured as a likely contender on this year’s show, but said he has not been invited.” – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Farron has some Lords troubles of his own